World to add 57 GW of solar PV in 2015, says IHS

Market analysts IHS will next week publish their Q1’15 PV Demand Market Tracker, which forecasts that 2015 will see the global solar PV market grow 30% year-on-year, adding 57.3 GW of capacity worldwide.

The Tracker has revised downward 2014’s final installation estimate, stating that 44.2 GW of solar PV capacity was added in 2014, down from a previous projection of 45.1 GW. The revised figure, however, represents a 14% increase on 2013, and IHS is confident that this year will see that rate of growth double once again.

Perhaps most noteworthy will be Europe’s return to growth. In 2014, just 7.9 GW of PV capacity was added across the continent, which was 30% down on 2013’s installation level. This year, though, IHS is forecasting installations to reach 9.4 GW, which would represent a return to growth after a one-year blip.

It is in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, however, where serious installation figures are expected. According to the tracker, 60% of global PV demand emanated from APAC in 2014, where 26.4 GW of capacity was added – a 5.5 GW increase on 2013.

This year, APAC will continue to contribute the lion’s share of new global solar capacity, with China on course to vastly outstrip previous years and add 17.3 GW of PV in 2015. This forecast from IHS is even above the official target set out by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), which has set 15 GW as the benchmark figure for the year.

IHS has also raised its forecast for Japan. The analysts expect the land of the rising sun to retain second spot in global installation figures, adding 10.4 GW of capacity this year – a 4% increase on 2014.

The U.S. will add more than 9 GW of capacity, forecasts IHS (up from 7 GW in 2014), while the U.K. will consolidate fourth place by growing by 3.5 GW in 2015, with the bulk of capacity already installed, timed to beat the April 1 deadline for Renewable Obligation (RO) certificates.

Looking farther ahead, IHS expects annual capacity installation growth to slow over the coming years, with 2018 on course to contract by around 1.5 GW, largely due to a 3 GW reduction in European expansion. Asia, however, will grow to offset a great deal of this reduction. Regardless, IHS is forecasting the deployment of more than 50 GW of new PV capacity in Europe between now and 2020.

By 2019, the analysts predict, global solar PV installations will reach 75 GW.